Sunday, July 21, 2013

MHH 14 and 15

PLATE 14 The ancient tradition that the world will be 
consumed in fire
at the end of six thousand years is true. as I have heard from Hell. For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby 
commanded to leave his guard at the tree of life, and when he does the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite. and 
holy whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.  
This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual 
enjoyment. But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul, is to be expunged; this I shall do, by  printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away, and displaying the infinite which was hid. If the doors of perception were cleansed 
every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite. 
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. (Erdman 39)

Genesis 3:
22] And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: [23] Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. [24] So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Blake speaks here of the creation being consumed; to him (as in the Gnostics and other disciplines) creation is something we don't need. When creation is
consumed at our death when we leave the body to enjoy Eternity.
'Sensual enjoyment' is a term I don't understand (perhaps if we read enough Blake it may become clear).
In the next few lines Blake refers to a new? method of printing he devised.
As we go beyond the sense based vision we perceive and enjoy Eternity.

In a letter to Butts Blake wrote:
    " Now I a fourfold vision see
And a fourfold vision is given to me Tis fourfold in my supreme delight And three fold in soft Beulahs night And twofold Always. May God us keep
 From Single vision & Newtons sleep(Erdman722)  
 The last line re "narrow chinks of his cavern" is certainly evocative of Plato's famous myth of the Cave.

"As a new heaven is begun, and it is now thirty-three years
since its advent: the Eternal Hell revives. And lo! Swedenborg is
the Angel sitting at the tomb; his writings are the linen clothes
folded up. Now is the dominion of Edom, & the return of Adam
Paradise; see Isaiah XXXIV & XXXV Chap:
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.

From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active 
springing from Energy.

Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.
(Erdman 33)

Swedenborg was an important influence in Blake's early years. At 33 Blake wrote this material in Marriage of Heaven and Hell.  Swedenborg is reported to have announced the advent of the New Heaven to come.
The New Heaven means return to the Garden of Eden.
Isaiah chapters 34  and 35 are an excellent source for the New Age announced by Swedenborg and Blake; the good one is 35:
[1] The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
[2] It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
[3] Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
[4] Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
[5] Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
[6] Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
[7] And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
[8] And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
[9] No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
[10] And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
The rest of the text here contains material that we've already heard often.

No comments: